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Giving Back

Donohue believes in giving back to the communities we serve. We support organizations that are important to our employees, their families, and our communities. Such organizations include United Way, Junior Achievement, Project Lead the Way, YMCA, Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, Great American Cleanup, and local food pantries, to name a few.

Donohue employees involved with the Water Environment Federation’s Young Professionals plan and execute service projects at the annual WEFTEC conference. We also contribute to global clean water funds Water for People and Wisconsin Water for the World. These organizations work to provide clean water and sanitation in developing countries. Some of our employees have participated in these campaigns personally, traveling to rural Guatemala to help design and build clean water infrastructure. Donohue’s Ed Nevers shared his recent experiences:

I participated in week-long trips to Guatemala with the Wisconsin Water for the World group in 2011, 2013, and 2014. During my first trip, I was generally stunned by the different lifestyles encountered in the villages from that to which I am accustomed in the U.S. That trip created for me an interest in recent Guatemala history, particularly the cruel Civil War that lasted for nearly two decades, ending in the 1990s. I learned the Village that our water system project will serve was a “hotspot” for this war for about 3 years. Much harm and loss of life occurred during this timeframe. Several of the people we met were directly affected by the war.

Each trip involved various aspects of water infrastructure for small rural villages. I was involved in such tasks as building a water storage tank frame, spreading cement on the tank structure, making pipe fittings, and surveying a route for a future transmission pipeline. The children from the villages were incredibly friendly, quick to smile and very grateful for small gifts and treats that we brought for them. On the second and third trips, I developed a continuing bond with the Guatemalan friends I met on previous trips.

My experience in Guatemala can best be summarized by an exchange with a village co-worker named Marcos. He was my partner fastening together the wire cage used be form the frame for the storage tank. He could not speak English and I could not speak Spanish. We unsuccessfully tried to communicate with each other for at least an hour as we worked together. Periodically, we would again realize that we still could not understand each other. Each time we would smile at each other, shake hands and warmly exchange the word “amigo.”